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Twitter’s violence rules don't apply to military, governments

The social network wants to be a safer place for its users. Enforcement of the rules, though, could prove tricky.

Twitter sign at the company's San Francisco offices.
Twitter says it's time for tougher enforcement of rules prohibiting abuse and harassment.
James Martin/CNET

Twitter's taking a tougher stance on threats of violence, but some groups are getting a bye.

On Monday, Twitter announced its latest push to curb abusive behavior on its social network by hate groups and organizations promoting violence. The antiviolence effort, though, has a limit.

"This policy does not apply to military or government entities and we will consider exceptions for groups that are currently engaging in (or have engaged in) peaceful resolution," Twitter wrote in its new policy, detailed on Monday.

That apparently means Twitter spats like the feud between Russia's and Ukraine's official accounts would be fine under the policy, as well as certain tweets from President Donald Trump, who has sent threats to North Korea through the social network on multiple occasions.

The social network has faced criticism over Trump's tweets, which sometimes seem to violate the company's policies. Early in December, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey could not justify why Trump's anti-Muslim tweets were still online after the president retweeted dubious videos, including one portraying an apparent attack. (That video was later proven to be wrong.) The account Trump retweeted from was banned Monday as part of the new policy.

Twitter declined to comment beyond its posted policy.

The new enforcement policy applies to "violent extremist groups," and the company said that "groups with representatives elected to public office through democratic elections" are excluded from the rule. 

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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